World Class Athletics at a World Class Institution
Among the many educational events that help encompass the University’s weekend celebration is a series of panel discussions offering insight to the extraordinary environment of the campus community. Friday afternoon inside the Bechtel Engineering Center, several distinguished members of the intercollegiate athletics department contributed in an engaging discussion of “World Class Athletics at a World Class Institution.”
Led by Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour, the respected six-member panel included head coaches with NCAA Championship and Olympic medal credentials. Rugby head coach Jack Clark, women’s swimming & diving head coach Teri McKeever, men’s swimming & diving head coach Dave Durden, men’s golf head coach Steve Desimone and women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb spent more than hour with alumni and their families offering, in great depth, the necessary elements needed to build a world class athletic experience at a world class institution like Cal.
“At Cal, we are constantly searching for that competitive advantage,” Barbour said. “The student-athlete that we look for is someone who can compete at the highest level athletically, and who will also embrace the academic rigor that exists at Cal. We want someone who has the character to represent the values and desire to fill the expectations of a community of more than 475,000 living alumni. We want someone who understands that the college experience is phenomenally more than just what happens in their athletic venues.”
The panel of coaches and mentors engaged with an alumni base covering a variety of topics from recruitment, development and the overall experience as a Golden Bear.
“I am so proud at a world class institution like this that the leadership from the chancellor to Sandy and on down value the education piece of athletics,” said McKeever, who has won multiple NCAA titles and Olympic gold medals as a coach. “I wanted to grow up to be a teacher and I am now a teacher at the greatest institution. I am not just teaching people how fast to swim or how many medals you can win or what the trophy looks like. We are learning things about who we are and who that person is you see in the mirror every day. If you walk out of here appreciating what you see and respect what you see you can set yourself up for success for the rest of your life.”
The student-athlete experience at Cal is unlike any other. The coaches told the University’s story and shared what makes the institution a world class environment for everyone involved.
“We are ultimately in the business of student development and provide these individuals with experiences that will help them be successful in life, personally, professionally and socially,” Barbour said. “We want our student-athletes to leave Cal with a phenomenal athletic experience and the world’s best undergraduate degree. We believe that first and foremost, we are educators.”
For more information on the exciting events encompassing Alumni & Family Weekend at Cal, click here.